Is The Lockout Hindering Player Development?

One thing I always look forward to in the offseason is summer league.  It’s a chance for the teams to test drive their draft picks, look at the undrafted, sort out the pieces, and shop for needs.  Sadly, with the current lockout, teams can do none of these things.

As a Charlotte Bobcats blogger, I was definitely looking forward to the 2011 NBA Vegas Summer League to see what we had truly gotten in the draft.  Last season let us see Gerald Henderson and Derrick Brown were not worthy of sitting on the bench all season, as Larry Brown kept them.  A truly sad season to keep our two picks on lock-down.

Now here we are a year later, and we could have really used this Summer League for the new guys to show their mettle.  To show what they bring to the table, and to give us an idea of what the next steps would be for the team in free agency.  With the lockout, most of the undrafted went ahead and did what several of the “under-contract” NBA players have done.  They are looking overseas to see what teams they could play for.

In my opinion this lockout, which killed the Summer League, has several of the small market and weaker teams of the league flying partially blind.  If there was one thing the Bobcats could have used this summer, it would have been to find that scoring diamond in the rough.  Instead they will have to run with what they have, which I don’t think will be terrible.  Imagine a team playing a half season with a new coach and the previous coach’s memorized playbook.

If you visit blogs, you have several so-called fans trashing the picks and trades that have been made, with no actual visual basketball being played at the NBA level.  I only really focus on one pro sport.  I love the NBA and I love basketball.  I specifically love Bobcats basketball, and when there is no such creature of Summer League to carry me into training camp, pre-season, and the season itself, I go stir crazy.

I’m like a drug addict needing a fix.  I’m sitting here as I type, praying that something will flash up on NBATV saying that the lockout is over and then free agency moves are flying crazy (T-Mac and Dalembert to Charlotte for instance).  Instead, I sit idle.  No news that “The Biz” (Bismack Biyombo) had 15 blocks and 20 rebounds in his first summer league showing.  That Kemba Walker scored a Summer League high in his second game after dishing 15 assists to his teammates during that first game.  Instead I am learning about NBA history … you know … back before anyone had ever heard of a Summer league.

Oh NBA … end your lockout.  If we can’t have a Summer League, at least let us have the free agency … a pre-season … something.  I need my NBA … and not NBA history. 

About Michael A. De Leon

Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. He started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, in 2005. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others. He is a credentialed member of the media for the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also the founder of Project Spurs' sister sites, Toros Nation and Stars Hoops.